Specifc repair information Links will be posted here in the future
Hudson Stepdowns unlike their predecessors did not have a separate frame. In fact the advent of the Stepdowns brought unibody automotive technology to the Hudson marquee. Using immense and powerful presses, Hudson was able to stamp metal into shapes that when welded together created an extremely strong and durable body with an imbedded frame. This change allowed Hudson to place the floors of their 1948 to 1954 Hudsons near the absolute bottom of the Stepdowns body. This innovative action fostered a lower overall body height and a lower weight car without sacrificing occupant security or car body integrity. These factors were instrumentally in allowing Stepdown bodied Hudsons to achieve better handling characteristics than their body on frame competitors. Not a company to create good enough designs and final products, Hudson wanted it's newly designed car to be quiet and powerful. This attention included adding sound deadening materials to frame members as well non accessible places within the new unibody frame. At the time the Stepdowns was introduced many community roads were not paved in the United States. In fact 1948 was the first year an asphalt paved road was completed in Ohio. The lack of paving assured that each vehicle recieved a liberal coating of dust every time it was used on an unpaved road. Dust, unseen in the cranies of the undercarriage was seldom removed and subsequently would be treated to occasional baths of rain water. The resulting mud was kept moist by reoccuring rains during operation. Included in these events were seasonal changes and the use of chemicals to reduce the effects of ice and snow during the winter and early spring. Again, because of the design, these chemicals found their way into blind areas where dust and moisture had already accumulated. Unprotected by paint these raw metal surfaces began to corrode and this corrosion was accelerated by accumulating chemicals. All of these factors assured the rear and side sections of the unibody frame were attacked by corrosion and therefore weakened.
As time passed the hidden corrosion became obvious as it began to eat through the quarter panels and rocker panels. These areas were usually evidenced by the weakened metal and sometimes holes. In extreme cases the unibody frame was eaten away and suspension component mountings are compromised.
It is doubtful the original designers of the Stepdown envisioned what the rigors of everyday use would have on these Hudsons. The sound deadening, frame design and the build up of dust, moisture and corrosive chemicals all contributed to an early demise of many Stepdowns Hudsons.
Even with the corrosion, all is not lost. In the sixty five years (in 2013) since the original release of the "newly redesigned Hudson Stepdown", availability of restoration tools and materials has created a capability for Hudson owners to restore Stepdowns cars which are victims of the previously mentioned corrosion damage. Rusty Hudsons were previously relegated to the junkyard or as parts donors for non rusted examples. Scarcity and a desire to resurrect Stepdown Hudsons is driving a new type of Hudsonite, one who with the correct materials and the right tools is returning corroded Stepdown examples to their former glory.
Thus the object of the information found on this page: repair the corrosion and save a Stepdown Hudson .
Paul Schuster's 1950Pacemaker
Proof restoration of a rusty Hudson
Stepdown is possible
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This page was updated March 2017
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